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NPFL 2019/20: Familiar Foes Meet Again

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In less than 2 hours the much-awaited 2019/2020 Nigerian Professional Football League season will begin with games involving sides who are not in anyway strangers to each other.

Across the ten centres games will be played simultaneously at 4pm although only sixteen teams will be able to file out on to the pitch of play as Enugu Rangers and Enyimba’s ties with ASC Kara and TX Galaxy in the CAF Confederations Cup means that their clash with Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United respectively has been postponed.

However, there will be familiar guests for Fidelis Ilechukwu whose former team, Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC would be his first visitors as the head coach of Heartland FC of Owerri. With the Lagos based side, Fidelis Ilechukwu gained promotion in 2015/2016 and managed to keep them in the Nigeria National Football League as well as qualifying them for the CAF Champions League for the first time in their history in 2018.

READ ALSO: NPFL Suffering In The Hands Of Selfish, Non-Challant League Leaders

Meanwhile, it will be battle royale in Jos as two former champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League go head-to-head in the opener as the 2017 League Champions host the 2018 winners in Jos, while Plateau United won the league in its standard version and failed to qualify for the CAF Champions League group stage in 2017, Lobi on their own part won the 2018 abridged edition of the League but managed to qualify for the group stage of the CAF Champions League although they failed to progress beyond that.

Heavyweights, Kano Pillars, and Rivers United will slug it out at in Kano, both teams are no strangers to one another having both featured consistently in the League for over ten years without relegation for either side. However, Kano Pillars will have some pride going into the game being the Aiteo Cup Champions and Runners up in the NPFL last season even though they will be without their suspended Skipper Rabiu Ali in the first few games of the season.

Abia Warriors will host Katsina United in one of the opening games while Wikki Tourist will welcome newly-promoted Jigawa Golden Stars to Bauchi.

Delta Force will start their first full season in the NPFL welcoming debutants and newly promoted Akwa Starlets to the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, FC Ifeanyi Ubah will also be in charge of the baptism of Adamawa United as they feature after getting promoted from the NNL.

Warri Wolves‘ long-awaited return back to the top flight will see them welcome the promise keepers, Akwa United. Which Center will you be,

 

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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on danycrusoe@gmail.com or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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